Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Proud Mom & YaYa~

Isn't he just to die for?
I can hardly stand it
They are all just so darn cute
A Very Merry Christmas indeed with this little guy in our lives ! 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

We had a BALL in New York!

It was the most fabulous trip and a memory I will have forever! I had the very best travel mates with my sis in law Lindsay and my niece Chloe! We were tireless and decided we would sleep when we got home . So we stayed out late, shopped, saw shows and rode subways! I feel like we did it all but can hardly wait to go back again and do more! Those New Yorkers know how to do Christmas and everywhere you looked it was magical. I cried when I saw the tree in Rockefeller Center and also seeing the Statue of Liberty
I kept thinking of how long I had dreamed of this trip and there I was....
Dreams really do come true!
Here is a sample of all that we did....
The Rockettes.Elf the musical.We rode bikes through Central Park. Times Square. Live with Kelly & Michael. Serendipity. 230 5th bar with a fabulous view of the Empire State building.Canal Street for shopping.  
Sangria in Little Italy. We had a Ricky Martin sighting and also Chris Lowell from Private Practice. Staten Island Ferry complete with Sunday football with the boys Vinnies. Carrie Bradshaws house in Chelsea. 5th Avenue shopping. Macys. Sarabeths for a amazing breakfast. Pier 76. Juniors. Carnegie Deli. Hoda and Kathie Lee. Ice rink. Fire Museum. Dean & Deluca. SOHO. Greenwich village. Dash Peninsula Hotel. St Patricks cathedral. Subway rides. Taxi drivers { one who ran two red lights} 
And I tasted every single Food Cart ! Hot dogs. Peanuts. Candied Cashews. Donuts. Bagels and fresh coconut {my favorite}
It was ahhhmazing... and although I missed my hubby and pup I could have stayed another week
Dearest New York~  I will be back...        

This one cracks me up!!!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Two more sleeps!

I have been LOVING Christmas so much this year!
I sure am enjoying the blessing of not working.
My sweet friend Katie said the cutest thing to me...
She said she thinks I am part elf
And I think she might be right!

It has been non stop Christmas music in my house and car. My tree is lit night and day and I smile every time I hear the sound of the Salvation Army bell  
I have been chatting with friends, shopping ,wrapping and getting all ready for Christmas  because in two days I am leaving for .... 

New York! 

I cant believe the time is almost here
We will fly out on Wednesday morning and will be home next Monday
I am sure going to miss Carter but I kinda think he and Brody will enjoy the boy time
I am packing my warm clothes and dreaming of seeing the tree in Rockefeller Center!
I will be back with lots of photos and stories I am sure
In the mean time I wish you many moments of love and joy
Merry Merry Christmas!!
  And Happy 9 months to our sweet Beckham!  
This boy has completely stolen our hearts

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My dork factor is off the charts!

One of the most painful things to watch was my birthday surprise celebration on video!
I LOVED it because it captured one of the beautiful days of my life.  But as I watched I cringed because I am such a huge dork!
I told Steve I feel like the chubby kid on the baseball team who makes tons of mistakes, is always distracted, and costs the team money and points.But he is having so much fun playing the game you don't have the heart to kick him off.
That's me! 
I am having so much fun and am just so thrilled that I get to play this game of life!
So thankfully my sweet family and friends humor me and allow me to be on their team.
The video revealed what I have always suspected. I dance like a girl who thinks she has rhythm, I don't cry pretty, and my hair goes flat in an hour after leaving the house. My voice goes into a weird pitch when I am over excited and I am a absolute social spazz. 
And this "dorkiness" happens to me on a much more regular basis lately ...

Last week I was carrying a rug and comforter to my car from Home Goods and realized my gait was off ? Felt sorta off balance ? So I looked down and had two completely different shoes on? One sandal was flat and one had a heel . I couldn't get to the car fast enough {which wasn't too quick because my hips were so out of alignment} 

The very next day I went to pay for something and my phone was in my purse?
Yep my big ole black Uniden

Then just this morning I jumped into the shower without getting a towel. I normally wouldn't panic because there is always one hanging there, but I had gathered them all up to do laundry
So there I was...freezing cold with my shower cap on running down the hall to grab one thinking "God please dont let me fall and have someone find me like this"
I sure would love to be one of those sophisticated ladies who have it all together but  realize that will never be my life, so I have to find the humor in my own.
And I'm thinking I am providing humor for many more people who are way to sweet to ever stop to ask me " mam did you know.......

And when you see me ask about the Salvation Army drop off ! There are simply no words to describe what happened there....
Chloe and I almost peed our pants on the way home from laughing so hard

Wishing you a happy week  
Filled with love and giggles !


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Memory Lane~

Christmas with the Greeks! And my sweet baby boys kneeling down in the front ! Sara wearing her sweet hat, and Chloe's darling smile. Kory being a ham because he is so much like his daddy! My beautiful momma surrounded by her grandkids with the happiest smile. And now I fully know her joy.
Some of the sweetest memories for sure...

Thursday, November 1, 2012


I am so glad you are here !  My two favorite months are outstretched before me and I am trying to drink in the joy!
But to be honest I have been struggling a bit...
I am having anxiety attacks for the first time in my life and I think losing my job and benefits have had more of a impact on me that I thought.Carter sweetly tells me to relax and just enjoy this season and I'm trying...
Then the anxiety comes back
I pray, read my bible and absolutely trust that God has our future in His hands. But the mind is strong and that nagging fear creeps back in.Gosh, I seem to worry about the world in general .There is so much uncertainty for so many people. Friends and neighbors have lost their long time jobs and some have moved to other states in hope of a fresh start. Poor New York doesn't even have their  power restored and so many have lost everything they had. I even worry about the upcoming election.I desperately want my candidate to win!
All these adult issues that you suddenly realize are more important than ever before.
Sometimes getting older is tough. I want to sit on the kitchen floor with my friends playing Jacks, watching Brady Bunch, smelling dinner wafting through the den knowing my mom was making us something yummy and everything was just fine. To be young and care free again! 

But so much good is happening too! Travis and Ashlyn have bought their first home and Steve has been working on it with the boys every weekend. They are making huge progress and having a blast doing it! And of course I go too for moral support and cookie deliveries 
It is going to be amazing when it is done!
What a view

And that Beckham gets sweeter and sweeter as the days go by...

He is pure joy and a constant reminder not to have a care in the world  !
He knows his Mommy&Daddy will do whatever it takes to make sure he is taken care of
We need to rest in that faith too!  The same God who has always taken such good care of us will continue to do so! How much more does He love us... His children
So even though we all struggle from time to time, I can feel the deep gratitude bubbling up inside of me reminding me to find joy and be thankful in ALL things!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fifty Acts of Kindness

Fifty acts of kindness for my 50th birthday!
I read about a lady who celebrated this way and I thought it was so touching. Ever since I watched  Oprahs "random acts of kindness" show years ago the idea took root in my heart.
I just love surprising people with a sweet act of kindness!
I have paid for people behind me at Starbucks, gave my "buy one get one free" Egg McMuffin to the guy fixing the light on my street, and ran out to the mailbox to bring my carrier a ice cold water and a snack pack of cookies
The joy you feel is always such a blessing right back to you!
So for the month leading up to my birthday I decided I would find 50 ways to show kindness to a stranger ! To be honest I am still not done but enjoying it so much I lost count!
Some were big...most were small...but It has made me so happy to think of ways to be a blessing!
I remember being taught growing up , the best way to battle discouragement is to find a way to make someone else happy
God wants us to put others before ourselves and I think we all sometimes need that reminder
I know all too well that any good in me comes from Him!
We are all wretched, selfish people without the spirit in us prompting us to do good
So to God be the glory
I wont post all 50 but at least will share a few....

*The checker at Target was telling her friend she couldn't afford to go out to lunch so I gave her my gift card to Rubios

*We gave our waitress a 20 dollar tip "just because" { learned this from my brother Dave the biggest tipper in the world }

*I saw the U Haul in front of our neighbors house and they were working their fingers to the bone to load it up, so I ran inside and whipped up a batch of fresh peanut butter cookies and delivered it to them !  Moving is such a huge job but everything is easier with cookies

*Loaded a ladies groceries into her car at Winco so she could get inside and get her air going
She was so sweet and old I really should have told her to call me to do her shopping!

*Stopped off on the way to the Doctors for a pink bakery box of doughnuts for the girls at the office! That one quite honestly had the biggest response of joy. Guess everyone knows we shouldn't eat them but when they are a gift you almost have to  

*At the sprint store the line was so long and I could see a guy pacing and knew he was in a HUGE hurry, so when they called my name I let him go and I took his place 14 spots later. I assured him I had nothing but time and he was thrilled!  What's  fifteen minutes to me ? Nothing...but it was a blessing to him that day

My sweet Chad carries $5.00  "Jack in the Box"  gift cards and hands them out to the homeless people at the beach. { so much like his yaya who would always tell us everyone deserves a hot cup of coffee or a burger so she always carried McDonalds ones  }  So he influenced me to do the same....I have only given one at a red light but plan on making it  a habit !

I think this project has changed my thinking a little. To be on the look out for chances to jump in and be a small blessing to someone in the world where everyone walks by or averts their eyes to strangers

I have had this check on my fridge since my mom passed away. I found it when I was going through her things. And it is a constant reminder that we may not have a lot, but we always have some to share. She was on such a fixed income and literally would send a dollar to her favorite charities
What a example I had growing up of putting others before ourselves and knowing  that you can never out give God!
He will always bless you back ten fold  

Friday, October 12, 2012

I ♥ Instagram!

I just LOVE Instagram!
Pictures have always made me happy and there is so much joy in "seeing" the blessings in each others day!
I get to see babies growing up, friends sharing yummy food and my brother being silly in Tennessee with his sweet customers
It makes me feel connected !
I follow family and friends and love logging on and seeing the captured smiles of their everyday life
But the biggest joy not surprisingly are the pictures my sweet Trav and Ashlyn post of life with baby Beckham!
We don't get to "see"  him everyday but thankfully we can see a picture, and trust me Poppa and I just stare at them and smile
Here are a few of my favorites!  
Daddy practicing a presentation in front of a tough audience

Rub a dub dub 
Such a beautiful momma!

I love what Travis wrote on this one....

More little joys ! But they sure add up to a very thankful life 
My screen name is " YaYaKaren" if you want to follow my sillyness! And then I can follow you too
I would love to share your joys!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

So much fun !

We have been crazy busy but it has been such a BLAST!
We had the best time in Nashville for my nephews wedding. Then it was home for a few days and the Tennessee Krikacs came to see us for a week of post-wedding recovery.
We had way too much fun and my house feels very empty and quiet 
One of my favorite parts of being in Tennessee was hanging out with the kids and my family for five days. We stayed at a beautiful Marriott in Cool Springs. Chad slept in our room and we loved having a slumber party every night.
I have missed that boy so much and he is always so much fun to be around ! And it goes without saying Beckham was a joy the whole trip. The wedding was wonderful and seeing the kids and all the wonderful work at OUR THRIFT STORE was so heart warming as always!
Here are a few pics of the fun...
Martinellis Cider!

Then while they were here we went to the beach, the zoo, church, had massages and great meals. We visited with aunt Mary and saw the kids in San Diego  but this day was one of my favorites. Just hanging out and talking about life
I feel like I did when we were kids....
I could live with them all under the same roof and never tire of their company. We are so like minded and it feels like we belong together. I miss them living here more than anything but am always so thankful for our long visits and that our spouses are close as we all are.
My sis Sandy and I were talking about how overwhelming thankful  we are to have each other as family. We both got teary eyed just thinking about it.
Wishing you all a week filled  with joy and giggles ! The kind of joy that makes you choke up with thankfulness

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The most magical night !

My sweet hubby pulled out all the stops! He did such a great job putting this party together without me ever knowing a thing. And it was a blast!! I honestly don't remember the last time I had so many people I love gathered together in one place
And that's what made it so special!
I appreciate every single person who came and also my dear friends who helped put it together. My friend Jackie worked her fanny off and her sweet son and daughter in law captured it all on video !  There will never be enough thanks to the Atwoods who hosted at their beautiful home and flew in my brother and sister in law ! It wouldn't have been the same without them and I guess they thought so too, so they secretly flew them here
Steve didn't know they were coming  until he ran by in the morning to drop something off and Dave opened the door! 
My favorite band,great Mexican food, flowers and balloons, a serenade from my sweet hubby, white cake with lots of candles, sweet generous gifts....
But the BEST gift of all  is having these great people as my friends and family  !